Monthly Archives: August 2012

how i will remember this summer

happy long weekend friday, friends!

can you believe that we are at the end of summer?! (sorry to break it to you, but summer ends this weekend, and monday is new year’s day, that’s been my philosophy for eons, now).

this weekend is the perfect opportunity to reflect on the past couple of months. here are my top themes for summer 2012…

on a lighter note:

1) big earrings! i have really enjoyed wearing fun earrings:

peacock feathers! (TWO pairs after one earring of the first pair blew away)

madonna feather earrings!)at “magic mike” with bff debbie)

the ones that got away

i may head over to conestoga mall this sunday; if i do, i am going to see if melanie lyne has those feather earrings in the last pic; if so, they will be my final splurge-purchase of the summer (i am putting the hammer down and curtailing my spending on clothes and accessories starting after labour day!).

2) compression socks! these knee socks have been my signature look this summer:

black ones!

pink ones!

[the white seem to have gone un-photographed, somehow…that’s ok, they are my least favourite pair].

i will continue to wear my comp socks into the fall but NOT once i have to start wearing capris. comp socks + shorts = cute look; comp socks + capris = dorky look.

to talk running for just a sec: i am so appreciative of how much i have enjoyed running this summer – it’s been exhilarating. and it’s all thanks to the good karma brought on by the compression socks – haha!

3) country music! i have my friend cass from the store to blame thank for introducing me to this musical genre. i still put the country station on sometimes when i am working alone at the store, in honour of cass! my two favourite songs from this summer:

somethin’ ’bout a truck

5-1-5-0

[cowboy boots may be goin’ on my xmas list!]

on a deeper note:

1) rediscovering my love of reading: i read more during the daylight hours this summer than i have in years…and it was so enjoyable! whether i lounged on the chairs up on the rooftop, sat with a tea at starbucks, sprawled on the floor in the condo casa, or lay out in the park, it was lovely to relax and immerse myself in a satisfying work of fiction.

2) letting the mantra “let it go” guide me: there are so many ways i can interpret this phrase! [and did you know the dragonette song by the same name is on my ipod, it always seems to come up (i have my songs on constant shuffle mode) at the most auspicious of times]. sometimes i have felt so free-of-heart that i just smile! here are three little examples of *let it go* – -

~ the blogcation put blogging into perspective for me – i do enjoy writing, sharing, being imaginative and creative…when i have the time and inclination! if blogging feels like a burden or a *have to do,* that is not a good thing.

~ ice cream once a week (or even twice, oh the daring!) is way fun!

THE BEST cone of the summer!

~ living in fear of “what if’s” is a waste of mental energy. do your best, be true to your heart, and things will work out.

3) deciding, very recently, in a burst of clarity, to NOT participate in the goofy challenge at disney in january. i have absolutely zero regrets about registering back in april for this trip. at the time, it was a great idea and the right thing to do. however, both the get-away and the race are no longer goals i want to pursue. [ok, i am remorseful that i am out the $309 entry fee – that money could buy a lot of lulu gear!! (disney has a no refund, no transfer policy)]. however, i am remembering what janetha shared on her blog once, about something her momma b said to her: “it’s only money.” yes, it’s unfortunate to lose an *investment,* but when i consider that health, family, time are more important to me, it is only money.

what are some themes that YOU will remember from this summer? i also grin when i recall all my meet-ups with friends and outings with family!

now go enjoy this last weekend of the summer!

party tricks

…aka BUSKER FESTIVAL!!

dad and i wandered over to uptown friday eve to catch a couple of performances. the spectacular weather (sunny, hot) drew HUGE crowds of all ages!

meet “bendy em,” a contortionist from australia…

…with amazing strength and flexibility!

the final act: bendy is going to squeeze into this 16″ box…with that basketball!

she did it!

we caught this guy mid-act, so i do not know his name. he was about 20 feet off the ground on taht pole! (i was attempting artsi-ness with the moon, the blue sky, the flag, the guy).

balancing on one arm!

party food ->

the only thing missing, practically, is deep fried COTTON CANDY!

on saturday eve, the weather was just as perfect – back uptown went i, searching out feats of amazingness!

look! a human wind-up doll!

the first show i happened upon was “strings of fire” from australia (although he was a finn):

can you balance a plank on your chin?!

how about a spoon on your nose?!

he was doing full situps with the axe end resting on his chin…

…then she hula’d + played a song!

moving along…

again, i missed this performer’s name; the little 4 yr old volunteer fulfilled his duties admirably!

fire juggling while lying on a bed of spikey nails!

focus!

now, this comment will make me sound like a real PARTY POOPER, but to be frank, i was unimpressed by the *talent* on display this year. none of the acts i observed had the wit, humour, energy, or skill that i have admired in previous years. an off year, perhaps? or did i miss the best shows?? all in all, i was disappointed in this year’s festival.

the most impressive sight of saturday twilight: this gorgeous half moon in the clear, blue sky

[sidenote #1: i used dad’s camera for all of these photos. i promise it is on loan, only. although i am SO tempted to keep it, much like the ipod BEAST that is still in my possession!].

[sidenote #2: for the sake of blog continuity, here is the buskers 2010 recap! and 2011!].

how was your weekend? did you partake in any fun ‘n’ games? one of these years, i am going to ride the ferris wheel that is a mainstay of the festival midway!

theme week: survey sez!

bloggers love surveys. they’re lighthearted in nature, it’s a fun type of blog post to compose, and readers like learning TMI more about the blogger’s life and interests.

surveys spread like wildfire and each one enjoys its fifteen minutes of fame before another one takes over. today we’re going to answer the a-z favourites survey. i forget where i first saw this one, so i extend my apologies to whoever thought it up!

for each letter of the alphabet, the blogger is to provide a favourite something -> ez! here are the first favourites that popped into my mind…

a – apples: readily available, versatile, make the best type of pie and crisp, easy to transport, and best of all – yummy! [must be crisp/hard/crunchy/not mealy].

b – boston marathon: whether to run in or watch on tv, this is my favourite marathon!

(source)

c – canada: i am a proud canuck. i appreciate our health care system, we are seen as a polite nation by other countries, canada is a great place to live [except in winter…i really wish canada would buy florida].

i can wear my FREE olympic-themed tee to show my canadian spirit!

d – diet coke: i have not tasted a drop since january 8th, but this is still the best beverage in the land.

e – earrings: with my ears triple pierced, i enjoy switching up my accessory options! this summer has been about peacock feathers, big silver hoops, and my new favourites from the madonna collection:

i always feel happy when i wear these!

f – facebook: this is THE genius invention of modern times. i check fb about 20 times a day, for real. i rarely post, but love reading my friends’ updates (i’m up to 149 friends!). it’s so cool to have this connection with people from all walks of my life.

g – george clooney: my ♥ honey bun ♥ numero uno!

h – hugs: i love getting and giving hugs. a quick embrace can be a friendly greeting, a gesture of support, an exuberant dance of joy. studies show that hugs improve your mood!!

i – ice cream sundays: mom and i had so much fun with ice cream cones at the mall on a few occasions, this summer. these should be weekly outings, i do declare!

the very best: laura secord ice cream in a chocolate/sprinkle-covered waffle cone

j – junky cereals: the kiddie varieties with absolutely no nutritional value make awesome toppings to a mixed bowl of cereals! i do love my cereal!!

k – knitter’s fair: i’m already super-excited for saturday september 8th when mom and i will enjoy our annual knitting extravaganza. 2010 recap here! 2011 recap here!

l – lululemon: i count lulu among my preferred clothing brands – you pay more but the stuff is super-cute, wears well, and lasts forever. after wednesday’s shopping trip, i am very well lulu’d!

m – movies: i’d rather watch a movie than tv. if i could, given unlimited time and money, i would head to the cinema every free evening.

n – nail art: i love nail polish, but even more, i adore nail art. when i got my nails done as one of my 41 new experiences last year, i think it was my very favourite new experience!

these daggers made typing and blackberry-ing impossible, but they sure were fun to look at!

o – orange: best colour on the spectrum!

p – planks: i pretty much loathe and detest strength training, but core work is the lesser of all evils, and doing planks is something that is not that bad. you just lie there on your elbows and toes and zone out, all the while conditioning your abs – i can handle that!

q – quirkiness: in movies, in tshirt slogans, in myself (!) – nothing wrong with being *unique!*

r – reading: this summer i have spent more time reading than in the past three years, combined. and it’s been a joy!

s – sweating: there is nothing like a good sweat, be it from sitting on the beach, working out, just walking down the street when it’s 38 degrees C and humid as all get-out. i’d much rather be hot than cold!

t – tattoos: i love my two, plan to get one or two more in the next coupla years and admire the works of art on other people.

my cardinal

u – upping the ante: i’m competitive by nature! i like trying to surpass previous achievements, be it in sport, at work…this can be good or detrimental, depending on the situation!

v – velour/velvet: so very cosy to drape yourself in this soft fabric. right, george costanza?!

(source)

w – water: since i am off what you saw in “d” up above, water is the next best thing…or so i keep telling myself.

x – x-ing out items on a to do list: this is a bit of a cheat answer because i always CHECK MARK off my to do list (more positive in nature than x’s)…apart from semantics, it feels GREAT to accomplish what you set out to do for a day!

y – yellow cars: i don’t want to own or drive one, but these are the most fun-looking cars on the road!

canary yellow? banana yellow? that’s the shade that is so fun!

z – zigzag patterns: this shirt is one of my favourites:

it’s gotta be at least fifteen years old!

staying true to accepted question-posing style, share your favourites for your initials OR the letters of your first name!

~*~*~*~*~

and with this blog entry, dear friends, we conclude theme week. i think the only major cliché idea missed was that of doing a blog giveaway. sorry about your luck!

:D

theme week: you’ve won an award!

back in july, during my blogcation, the lovely stacie so kindly and graciously bestowed upon me a blogging award:

now, you may think that receiving an award of this nature is a great honour. well, in actuality, it’s a bucketload of work [please note that i am confident stacie will not be offended by the smirk-y and cynical tone of my comments]. blog awards are an excellent marketing tool for self-promotion and for increasing the number of hits your friends’ blogs will receive.

see, you can’t simply write a touching acceptance speech of “thanks for thinking highly of my blog” and move along. nooooo! there are rules that accompany a blog award!!

for the liebster award…

…here is what you must do:

Tell 11 random things about yourself.

Answer the questions that the person who tagged you asks.

Create 11 new questions for the people you tag.

Tag 11 blogs and link them to your post.

Contact them and let them know they’ve been tagged.

see what i mean about the workload?! whoa!

moving on…

first, i am not going to re-tag 11 blogs because 1) stacie stole all my blends when she wrote her blog post-of-acceptance; 2) i do not feel comfortable inflicting passing along this honour to my real-life-friends-who-also-blog, i want to keep them as real-life friends; 3) can you just imagine if i fyi’d blogs that i only lurk on, informing them that they have been nominated for this award? the kikiproject blog would be regarded as weird! so, i am hoping a hex is not placed on me by the worldwide blogging gods for breaking the liebster cycle.

ok…11 random things about me.

1. i have never been to europe.

2. as a teenager, my family nicknamed me biffy. on wednesday when mom and i were shopping, she absentmindedly called me “biff,” i am not sure whether she even realized it or not.

3. i can turn my tongue sideways (ie vertically) in my mouth, but only in one direction.

4. my shoe size is seven.

5. i took two years of german in high school. all i remember is this dialogue [spelling questionable]:

~ bleibst du heute nacht mittag zu hausen?

~ ja, naturlich.

~ was machst du den?

~ hausaufgaben, was sonst?

6. if i had a dog, i would call it waffles.

7. i am currently wearing black nail polish.

8. i prefer showers to baths.

9. the day that my mom took me over to dorothy’s face and fashions at stanley park mall to get my ears pierced when i was twelve years old was one of pure joy and happiness.

10. i’ve read “cheaper by the dozen” at least a twelve times, although not for many years.

11. i like the rock group “nickelback” even though they get ridiculed massively.

next step: i shall answer the 11 questions that stacie posed:

1. what is your biggest pet peeve? people who are negative and pessimistic.

2. what is your biggest blogger pet peeve? spelling mistakes and poor grammar.

3. coke or pepsi? [STACIE!!!! argggh!!!] at this point in time, it really matters not, a sip of either would be heaven on earth.

4. what is the number one item on your bucket list? well, from my top five, i’ll pick seeing madonna in concert, live.

5. do you like surprise parties? to throw them, yes, very much; to be the recipient, not at all.

6. what is the oddest thing in your handbag or wallet right now? in my knapsack (my version of a handbag), i have a silver hoop earring for which i lost the backing.

7. when you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up? my first memory is hairdresser, after that, librarian.

8. what are you afraid of that actually shouldn’t scare you? thunder!

9. are you on instagram yet? if not, why the heck not? no! 1) lack of comprehension 2) have note made the time for it 3) lack of interest!

10. what’s your favourite animal? a plush, cuddly, stuffed one!

11. what’s your favourite hobby? (blogging doesn’t count) knitting!

since i am now feeling very tired, i am turning to a question format that is very popular in blogland: it’s the would you rather game. here are the first 11 questions to arrive in my brain:

1. would you rather fly in an airplane or drive in a car?

2. would you rather eat pizza hot or cold?

3. would you rather vacation in the mountains or by the ocean?

4. would you rather sleep in or get up early?

5. would you rather use a dishwasher or handwash your dishes?

6. would you rather be a sprinter or a marathoner?

7. would you rather swim in a lake or in a pool?

8. would you rather get a gift card/money or a wrapped present for your birthday?

9. would you rather pay by cash or credit card?

10. would you rather talk on the phone or email?

11. would you rather take two weeks of vacation all at once, or have a four day work-week for ten weeks?

if you’d like to receive this award…

…consider yourself awarded! congratulations!

if you’d like to answer any of my 11 “would you rather” questions – please do! it’d be so sad if i did all that creative thinking (and manual typing) for nothing!

happy saturday!

theme week: friday fotos

there is a plethora of variations on the friday alliteration idea: five for friday, fun facts friday, fit bit friday, friday features, friday fings, f’d up friday [ok, i made that one up, but it’d be workable, no?!]…i’ve decided to go with friday fotos [cutesy spelling and all] because i want to share the shopping trip that mom and i enjoyed on wednesday!

way back in the spring, mom and i decided to set aside a day in august when we could zoom down the 401 to mississauga and spend a day shopping at square one:

yes, conestoga and fairview park are great local malls, but we wanted a different experience!

GREAT summery weather…to spend the day shopping indoors! we had smooth sailing on the drive in from waterloo.

first stop of the day: coffee and a chance to make our plan of attack:

s’bux treats and a&w coffee…food courts are perfect for mixing and matching!

top of my list: lululemon!! we decided to skip stores available in k-w, too.

where is lulu??!

let’s shop!

mom has the patience of a saint: we were in lululemon for almost an hour, and i tried on item after item…with great success!! i am now well lulu’d…for the next while!

photo at home of the goods

[sidenote: i was all set to have mom snap a pic of me clutching 27 hangers of clothing when a sales associate gently admonished that no photo taking is allowed…pourquoi pas?? i am not about to sew up lulu knock-offs!].

then we discovered a new-to-us store:

boom, there goes another hour…and we emerged empty handed!

favourite print of the day (as seen on a dress in zara)

would you believe that after visiting only two stores, it was lunch time:

we each got a pizza and salad combo from mrs vanelli’s pizza – very tasty! and worthy of WIAW!

next up: melanie lyne which was mom’s #1 pick for the day:

i was seriously tempted by these feather earrings…now i wish i had picked them up!

mom had some luck! yippee, now we both had memento purchases from our day.

cognizant of the time of day and impending rush hour traffic, we shortly thereafter left square one to go across the street to…

please set up a location in waterloo, whole foods (and bring lululemon with you, while you’re at it)…

mom’s first visit to a wf, ever!

i compared this mississauga whole foods to the one i visited in sarasota florida, july 2010, and regaled mom with a few of my memories! this mississauga location is huge, bright, very clean, has TONS of product…but the sarasota wf definitely had better salad and hot buffet bars.

i perused the cereals, no surprise, there, but refrained from making a purchase!

we will never, ever learn: once again, we neglected to pick up a basket, so after twenty minutes of wandering the aisles, mom looked like this…

dad gets a treat of kettle chips in his favourite flavour!

…and we were giggling pretty hard! we also had to laugh because for all those hours spent at square one, we covered very little ground…ah well, quality over quantity was the theme of this day.

oh – i got some mint-scented shampoo, too:

this is the large size bottle – i should mark down the date and see how long it lasts!

love that scent!

our return trip to waterloo was also a breeze. it was so fun to travel to an out-of-town mall and spend the day with mom.

what’s your favourite mall? international plaza in tampa was amazing! wish i could have shown it to mom during my vacation. yorkdale mall (in toronto) has a great rep, we just didn’t want to face more time on the 401 to get there.

theme week: three things thursday

three things thursday is a well-used vehicle by which a blogger can randomly chat about a trio of totally unrelated ideas. i can do that! (in fact, thirty thing thursday would probably be ok!).

1. remember back in may when dad transformed the master bath into the chocolate bathroom?

my at-home spa!

well, i finally got around to purchasing new towels. i got them in maybe july (?) then they sat around for a while before i started to use them. i went for white:

nope, i did not stage a “home and garden” pic!

what sold me on the white idea was that floor mat – it’s textured and i love the soft feel under foot. for the towels, i went with the “gluckstein home” line, available at the bay. i’m super happy with this choice! for the first time ever, the initial wash and dry did not produce tons of lint. the towels are soft and plush and feel luxurious. brian gluckstein, you can be proud of your product!

the white towels remind me of staying in a hotel – i like that! initially, i was worried about how hard it would be to keep the white white…so far, no issues.

the next step: my heart is set on getting a compact coat rack upon which i can hang the towels – i am feeling anti-towel rack or wall hooks… but until i can find what i want (ikea??), this is my towel-hanging system:

stairmaster-as-towel-drying mechanism…how stereotypical, having exercise equipment draped in laundry!

all in all, i’m very happy with the bathroom transformation!

2. i totally thought that i had found a new ♥ sweet baboo ♥ to add to my collection which is currently comprised of:

georgie:

(source)

tommy:

(source)

chef michael smith:

(source)

during the olympics, i caught some of the canadian women’s soccer matches. oooo, that canadian coach, john herdman, is a real cutie!!

(source)

then i googled him and found out he was born in 1975. that means he is five years younger than me. boo. that is just too much of an age gap for me to handle. so our love affair is over before it even started. the end.

3. a few weeks ago, zo mentioned in a blog post that she had figured out how to get a twitter tweet onto her blog. zo kindly passed along the step-by-step how-to instructions, and by george, i could do the same thing! example:

as you know, my blog is pretty boring simple in terms of layout, design, photos…and i’m fine with that – now. once upon a time, i did dream of making the kikiblog all fancy, inserting photoshopped and edited pictures, tables, charts etc…i even almost bought a DSLR camera in order to improve my photos! then i realized (and accepted) that it’s the writing and sharing that i enjoy, and a plain jane blog is all i need.

all that being said, it was fun to learn a new twitter/blog trick! now all i have to do is actually compose tweets that are pithy, relevant, and worthy of including on the blog!

got three things to share today? 1) it’s the busker festival in uptown waterloo this weekend 2) i thought my little point n shoot camera was dead again a few days ago but after it got a good night’s rest, it worked fine again the next morning, i so don’t understand what is up with that thing 3) i want to go buy tons of new school supplies even though i am not going back to school. i just may load up on pens, notebooks, stickies and markers anyway.

theme week: WIAW

of all of the themes that i’m participating in this week, what i ate wednesday baffles me the most.

1. for the uninitiated, there is a genre of blogging called “healthy living blogs.” some of these professional bloggers (example, example, example) make their living by photographing, writing about and posting ( up to three times daily!) what they eat (an how they work out) every day. kudos to these ladies for their devotion, i could not sustain that pace! i also cannot believe the popularity of these blogs – it’s a huge industry! i take it that we are to gather inspiration and ideas from these website food logs –  and that is also the purpose of WIAW.

2. to my mind, what i ate wednesday translates to what i ate ON wednesday. so i would take pictures on wednesday then post WIAW on thursday…ok, that’s confusing, i am obviously over-thinking things!

3. i would not want to open myself up to the criticism and scrutiny of posting every bite that goes into my mouth. snarkers are gonna snark, and it would not be fun to constantly receive comments that you eat too healthy, eat too many carbs, eat too much, eat too little, spend too much on food, get too many freebies…not my cup of tea. maybe i would think differently if i actually could make a living off of blogging?!

ok, so let’s move on to my version of WIAW

(source)

or!…

(source)

[i do not read jenn’s blog, peas and crayons, (jenn is the founder and host of WIAW) but i think i am supposed to link to her if i use the WIAW button??!]

1. haha, again – things work out as they’re meant to be, because i have a great foodie photo from last week wednesday! remember when dad and g’ma and i went to swiss chalet for lunch?!

here is my quarter chicken dinner, dark meat, with fries and a roll, dipping sauce, and perrier water

all right! i am thumping my chest in glee that i have at least one interesting pic for you!

2. here is a new-to-me product that i tried this week:

i pan-fried the tempeh then added it to my salad!

ok, i am seriously laughing so hard because i am trying to picture the look on dad and the brother’s faces if i ever presented them with this *bacon* – even i can say that this is NOT anywhere CLOSE to “real” bacon!!! this product is tempeh pre-cut into bacon-ish slices, that is all.

this tempeh bacon was ok – i do love tempeh, but in future, i will go back to just buying regular tempeh. the smoky maple flavoured marinade was not bad, but i do prefer plain tempeh.

3. here are four photos of items that are regular staples:

i like an appetizer of fresh veggies dipped in that blue cheese salad dressing

those cherry tomatoes were a gift from my neighbour who has a garden plot and has been blessed with a proliferance of baby toms this summer. they’re delicious! and the taste exactly like the little tomatoes my grandpa c grew in his garden when i was little. nature’s candy!

yogurt, frozen, with choco chips on top

i’ve shared this *exciting recipe* with you before: you plop your favourite regular yogurt in a freezer-friendly container, add on some choco chips, and freeze. defrost, then enjoy!

a nutrient-balanced snack!

this concoction is a brainwave i am proud of: take a scoop of pro powder, add just enough water to make an icing-like consistency, then spread your mixture onto apple quarters. this is one of my favourite quick ‘n’ easy snack options.

i MUST have cereal before bed! this was a great bowl – there are at least six types of cereal in this mix! and i always use that pottery bowl!

i do have a dilemma for which i need to find a solution: i NEED cereal before bed! how am i going to transport several nights’ worth of cereal to florida for disney?? cereal is a totally necessary part of my carb-loading routine! again, i am chuckling because i can just see me checking a whole suitcase of cereal and almond milk on my flight down south…i need to think on this some more. either i seriously DO just pack a sh!tload of cereal or i have five months to find a new evening carb that fuels me up…good thing i have some time!

ok – your turn! what’s one thing you ate yesterday and/or a new product you have tried and/or would you ever want to be a food blogger?? today mom and i are off on a shopping adventure and we will be partaking in food court offerings!

theme week: top ten tuesday

it’s tuesday! theme week continues with book discussion time!

blog friend zo is the queen of top ten tuesday participation, and it’s thanks to her that i know about ttt!

(source)

i took a look over at the blog, the broke and the bookish, that hosts top ten tuesdays, and zowie! things work out as they’re meant to be, as i was instantly jazzed by the suggested list for today, tuesday august 21st:

TOP TEN FAVORITE BOOKS YOU’VE READ DURING THE LIFESPAN OF YOUR BLOG

i started my blog in january 2010 (as my 40th bday present to myself) so that means we have two point five years of collected novels from which to choose. once again, i’m super glad i keep a log of the reading i do!

we’ll be short ‘n’ snappy (i’m not linking, you can google if you wish more details on a title!). i’m also sharing the date when i finished the book:

1. good to a fault (february 19th, 2010) – marina endicott (a modern-day classic)

2. best friends forever (october 2nd, 2010) – jennifer weiner (this author knows how to do beach lit)

3. born to run (november 7th, 2010) – christopher mcdougall (some parts are better than others but if you run, you must read this non-fiction work)

4. the hour i first believed (january 25th, 2011) – wally lamb (amazing)

5. the help (may 31st, 2011) – katherine stockett (ditto on amazing)

6. american wife (august 28th, 2011) – curtis sittenfeld (multi-layered story, i loved the protagonist)

7. something borrowed (march 31st, 2012) – emily giffin (the best novel from this popular, best-selling author, imo)

8. she’s come undone (july 4th, 2012) – wally lamb (this was my second time reading this incredible work)

9. the undomestic goddess (july 25th, 2012) – sophie kinsella (A+, four stars, for a light, fantastically enjoyable summer read)

10. explosive eighteen (july 28th, 2012) – janet evanovich (the whole stephanie plum series is mindless fun, great escapism)

if you blog, when did you start blogging? and please share a book title from that timespan that is super-great!

if you do not blog….just share a fantabulous novel that i must read! i am almost done book two of the 50 shades of grey trilogy. review to come on sept 9th with the next project update!

theme week: 10 things my parents did right

happy monday, everyone, and welcome to theme week!

every day this week, i’m going to explore a topic/ideaover-used title that is common in the blogging world.

for the past few mondays, stacie has been participating in monday listicles:

(source)

last week’s subject totally grabbed my interest and i thought, as i read stacie’s blog entry, “hey! i want to write about 10 things my parents did right, too!” i love how the very nature of this list is positive and we are not slamming and bemoaning how our parents raised us.

as a refresher, my mom and dad and i live in side-by-side condo buildings. i count my parents as my closest friends, and they are awesome people [of course, when i was 12-18 years old, they frustrated me much more frequently than now – haha!].

so, looking back on my growing-up years, here are:

TEN THINGS MY PARENTS DID RIGHT

1. surprise us with mcdonalds for lunch on sundays. i wrote a blog post here about my memories of these special outings, and this is what i said:

our family was not rolling in money when the brother and i were little – my mom stayed at home and my dad worked for a local insurance company. we were very comfortable, but my parents had to watch the budget a bit. a real treat was when we would go to mcdonalds for lunch after church on sunday. we did not go every week. and we never knew if we were going to go until the drive home at noon – if dad took a certain road, we knew it was a mcdonalds day! the brother and i would clap and practically dance in the back seat of the car. i think this memory is so special because it was family time all together, i loved the fillet o’ fish/fries food, and the joyful surprise factor was just too much fun.

2. instill a love of reading: books were a part of our childhood from babyhood onwards. when we went to the library, we could choose the same number of books as our age, i recall. one other memory: mom would read to us after supper, before kitchen clean-up time: the story girl, robinson crusoe, the swiss family robinson, the five little peppers and how they grew…thanks to the importance placed on enjoying works of fiction, i still love reading to this day.

3. arrange to have a stay-at-home mom during our formative years: this situation was the right decision in this era for our family. mom went back to work as a supply teacher (which led to a permanent classroom position as a kindergarten teacher) when i was in grade six. [sidenote: i want to emphasize that i have full respect for, and totally support my friends who work outside the home and also are moms]. prominent memories: riding our bikes to go on picnics to parks with a lunchbox lunch; one-to-one time (making my own alphabet book at age four); homemade (sometimes fiddly and labour-intensive) suppers; a generally relaxed home environment.

4. encourage creative and imaginative play: tv time was limited to 30-60 minutes per day; most of our toys did not require batteries; we were allowed to spread out our villages and families all over the living room and rec room and leave them in place for days on end!

5. vacation in a variety of ways during the summers: we took long trips both to eastern and western canada; we rented cottages for a week or two at a time; we took day trips to southern ontario tourist spots while maintaining a home base.

at storybook gardens, london (ontario), 1975

6. limit tv time: see #4, above. we played outside, inside, upstairs, downstairs, in the garage a lot more frequently than we watched tv! however, we DID view the popular childrens’ shows of the time [my stance is that kids have to know who mickey mouse and big bird are in order to be *with it* members of society]. tv was a special treat rather than a major time-filler.

7. prioritize time with grandparents, family, family friends: my grandma and grandpa c lived just a five minute drive away, so it was nbd to pop over to visit, get together for birthdays, etc. we were also close with my aunt and uncle who lived locally. and, our family visited back and forth with other families a lot!

g’ma and g’pa c!

8. encourage laughter: cracking hardboiled eggs on our foreheads, burping and farting (not in public!!), making dad wear a bread basket on his head over dinner-hour, just being silly because it is fun to laugh…we had a pretty joyful household (most of the time!!).

9. teach manners and accepted etiquette: i remember being so peeved because mom made us write thank you notes after birthdays and christmas!! i wanted to play with new toys, not write about them! but it was the right life lesson to teach us. not to boast, but mom and dad used to get compliments from perfect strangers about how well-behaved and polite the brother and i were, so they taught us well!

10. take us to church: let’s call a spade a spade – i no longer attend church, but i am grateful for the fact that we went to church every sunday (except in the summers) from birth to university-age. my feeling is that you don’t have to go to church to live ethically, practice kindness, and believe in God, and i am thankful for my mennonite church/faith upbringing.

what is something that YOUR parents did right, and something that you wish they had done differently? i wish that my parents had let me give up on piano lessons and let me take dance lessons instead. [please note that my parents are fully aware of my feelings, we have discussed the past, it is bygones, i DID learn valuable life lessons by achieving my grade eight in piano, and we have no hard feelings!].

stacie, i am glad you participated in this listicle as you inspired me, and i got to reflect on much happiness from many years ago!

tomorrow: we have another list of TEN!

one week, a second perfect day

so, in my last blog post, i told you about wonderful wednesday. well, yesterday turned out to be spectacular saturday!

it’s really funny how things work out as they are meant to be. originally, i had booked yesterday off from the store because i was planning to spend the day in toronto, and then participate in a fun event in the eve. well, as this past week went on, i kept getting the vibe that i should deviate from my intended itinerary – so i did! and i could not have asked for a more joyous saturday than yesterday!

to start, i finished off my latest knitting project at the ripe hour of 6:18 a.m.:

the orange baby blanket! i’ll show you a full view after i block it. still have tons of yarn left over, i’m passing it to mom to use for HER knitting projects!

then, i went for a run. i tried a new route.  i g-map‘d a neat-o course, then sharpied the directions onto my hand:

who needs a garmin?! [oops, i probably shouldn’t say that given as i sell those gps devices!…]

actually, garmins truly are great training tools, it’s just that tracking distance/time/pace is not my approach, and after 22 years of running, i can tell when i am going slow/steady/fast. [sidenote: windex takes sharpie-marker off of skin very well].

i had barely started off when my running friend val and her husband caught up to me – so fun to wish each other good running, and that cheery chance meet-up set the tone to my outing.

here is a post-finish photo:

uncombed hair, 20 year old LIFA top, shorts that are losing their elastic, yup i am a real fashion plate…at least the compression socks are in good shape!

oh – and could the weather yesterday have been any more gorgeous?

view from the condo casa window

the only thing is that an autumn feel is most definitely in the air….

next, i went in to play at the store for three hours. like i said, i was supposed to be off, but since we were a bit short-staffed and i wasn’t going anywhere anyway, it was just fine with me to spend some time working with manager paul and being social.

there is the cutest new coffee shop right across from the store: café 22. the proprietor, asha, used to work at the nougat bakery in kitchener, and now has opened her own establishment:

the lovely asha!

the decor is beautiful!

i encourage you to pay café 22 a visit if you are in the ‘hood. mom and dad and i had a lovely time!

right next door to the café is o.w. sports, and they happened to have some items out on their sidewalk, marked 50% off:

a spur-of-the-moment $22 treat, this billabong hoodie came home with me!

that’s a lot o’f fun in a day. but wait, there’s more!

in the eve, seagram stadium (a short stroll away) was the site of an invitational tattoo.

a gathering of marching bands!

what a gorgeous evening to be out-of-doors!

ahhh….my type a soul revelled in the precise marching formations, staccato beats, and 4/4 time of the music:

exhibit a!

exhibit b!

seagram stadium was packed with a huge audience – it was fun to people-watch!

i hope YOU enjoyed a busy + happy saturday, too!

*~*~*~*~

best wishes to the endurrun-ners this morning! they are finishing off their weeklong adventure with a mere…marathon!

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